Zojoji Temple

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  1. Zojoji Temple
    Photo: Zojoji Temple
  2. Zojoji Temple
    Photo: Zojoji Temple
  3. 増上寺

Time Out says

The main temple of the Buddhist Jodo sect in the Kanto area, Zojo-ji was built in 1393 and moved to its present location in 1598. In the 17th century 48 temples stood on this site. The main hall has been destroyed three times by fire in the last century, the current building being a 1970s reconstruction. The most historic element is the Sangedatsumon main gate – dating back to 1605, it’s the oldest wooden structure in Tokyo. Each of its three sections represents three of the stages that are necessary to attain nirvana. A mausoleum in the grounds contains the tombs of six Tokugawa shoguns. There’s also a cemetery, with row upon row of small statues of Jizo, guardian of (among other things) stillborn, aborted or miscarried babies.


4-7-35 Shiba-Koen, Minato-ku
Shiba-Koen Station (Mita line), exit A4, Daimon Station (Asakusa, Oedo lines), exit A6

What’s on

Candle Night for a Million People at Zojoji Temple

Zojoji Temple is most notable for its scenic location right in front of the brightly lit Tokyo Tower. And it’s about to look even more magical. For one night only on June 21, the stately temple is putting on its annual candlelight show – ongoing since 2003 – to help shake people off their dependence on electricity and enjoy a slow night. The lights go off at 8pm, and 1,690 candles will illuminate the staircase and path approaching the shrine. Of course, it will not just be about looking at candles at night. The event will start at 4pm with the Candle Night Marche, where you can shop for seasonal fruit and vegetables, and join workshops on how to conserve energy.  The event takes place from 4pm to 9pm.

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